A Buddhist monk was violently attacked in Oregon on Monday when he was mistaken for a Muslim, becoming yet another victim of the “Trump Effect.” His response though is a powerful lesson in compassion and loving kindness.
Kozen Sampson said he doesn’t remember much about the assault, but he does recall that his attacker seemed to think his cropped hair and brown robes indicated he was a Muslim, rather than a Buddhist.
I pulled over, someone ran up and yelled. I turned around, they kicked the door, hit me in the side of the face and knocked my head into the frame of the car,” Sampson said. “I do remember [him yelling] an F bomb [about] Muslims, and that was it.
Many would expect Sampson to feel anger towards the violent person who bashed his head in for no other reason than bigotry, but Sampson said that isn’t what he thinks or feels at all.
I was thinking, ‘That poor man.’ Can you imagine living your life in fear and anger? Can you imagine wanting to do something that you had to hurt somebody?
I don’t know the Islamic faith well, but I do know that Muslims are our brothers and sisters and I would encourage everyone to just take a hard look at how supportive are you of all God’s children.”
In a separate interview, Sampson elaborated on his feelings about the attack, once again showing his astonishing level of compassion.
“I am happy it happened to me and not to a Muslim,” Sampson said. “My biggest concern is for how anyone has to live with the fear and the distrust and the possibility of an assault.”
Sampson said that although he was attacked on Monday, he did not call the police until Wednesday.
I hadn’t planned to say anything, but a friend said if it happened it needs to be on the record, which I agree with.
So far there are no suspects in the case, as Sampson was unable to describe his assailant due to memory loss from the head injury he sustained. However, his beautiful message of compassion and loving kindness is already spreading and a candlelight vigil to promote peace and tolerance is planned for Friday night.
Watch more here, via KATU News:
Featured image via video screen capture